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Trio in court on childrens' home sex abuse charges

Three men are due to appear in court today to face a total of ninety two historic child sex offences against residents at an East Yorkshire childrens' home.

The former St William's Childrens' Home at the centre of child sex abuse allegations Credit: ITV Yorkshire

James Carragher and Michael Curran were employees at the St William's Childrens Home near Market Weighton. Anthony McCallen was a former chaplain, at the home. The charges, in respect of 20 complainants, date from 1970 to 1993.

'We accept findings' of report, says council

Young people in Rotherham are still at risk of being abused, according to the latest report into child sexual exploitation in the town.

The report, by education watchdog OFSTED, highlighted widespread or serious failures at Rotherham council, and classed the authority's children's services as "inadequate".

The Council say they have accepted the findings of the report, and measures are in place to improve the safety of young people.

Jane Parfrement is Acting Director of Social Services


Rotherham Council issue statement after Ofsted report

Accepting the findings of the report in their entirety, Leader of the Council, Cllr Paul Lakin, said that they provided the Authority with an independent and authoritative benchmark against which to secure improvement.

“Keeping children and young people safe remains our highest priority. We are sorry that we have let them down in the past, but we know that apologies simply aren’t enough. We are determined and committed to addressing all the issues raised in this report, and must demonstrate that we are doing so, if we are to rebuild trust and confidence in our services. The best way to serve children and young people now is to learn from those mistakes and look to the future.

The report talks about the importance of strong effective leadership and strong governance, about the need to hear service users’ voices and to ensure that the standards against which we will be measure are widely shared, understood and adhered to.

The appointment of a strong new leadership team – including our newly-appointed Director of Children’s Services Ian Thomas – is already helping to secure the change needed to ensure our organisation is fit for purpose. We are seeking to make further interim appointments within Children’s Services within the next week.”

– Cllr Paul Lakin

Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Board respond to Ofsted report

"I accept the findings of the Ofsted report published today in their entirety: this is a further example of where collectively agencies could have done better for children, young people and families. The Board partners were already aware of many of the issues raised in the report and are already working hard together to address these. Whilst in the report OfSTED have acknowledged the improvements made since my arrival as Independent Chair and have reported that our direction of travel is positive, I accept that the pace of change needs to be quickened.

I am working with Board members, the Chief Executive of the Council and the incoming Director of Children's Services to review and strengthen our plans for tackling the failings and shortfalls identified by Ofsted and secure the improvements still needed, with renewed pace and vigour.

The Corporate Governance Inspection currently being undertaken by Louise Casey and reports from Malcolm Newsam, the Children’s Commissioner, will provide further guidance around what needs to be done and Rotherham’s Improvement Board will help ensure that robust challenge is in place. We look forward to working with the strong new leadership and management team in place at Rotherham Council to ensure the well-being and protection of our children and young people in the future."

– Steve Ashley, Independent Chair of Rotherham Local Safeguarding Children’s Board
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Ofsted: 'Not enough to wait for the next scandal'

Ofsted's national director for social care has said it not enough to 'simply wait for the next scandal to happen' in a damning report on councils' response to child sexual exploitation.

While we have found examples of excellent frontline practice, it is clear that some areas have moved faster, further and more effectively than others.

It is not enough to simply wait for the next scandal to happen. We are calling on all local authorities and their partners to ensure that they have a comprehensive multi-agency strategy and action plan in place to tackle child sexual exploitation.

– Debbie Jones, Ofsted's national director for social care
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Ofsted: Councils 'too slow' over child sexual exploitation

The education watchdog has warned that the most vulnerable children in society are at risk of sexual exploitation due to unacceptable failings by social services, health workers and police.

Ofsted: Councils 'too slow' over child sexual exploitation Credit: PA

Ofsted said local authorities have been "too slow" to face up to their responsibilities in preventing child sexual exploitation while those designed to protect young people had failed to share information with others.

Arrangements to tackle sexual exploitation at a local level were described as "underdeveloped", while leadership was criticised as being "frequently lacking".


Classmates grieve for friends who died in crash

Grieving classmates today paid tribute to five friends who were killed in an horrific car crash in South Yorkshire. They died when their car crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided with another vehicle.

It happened on the A630 at Conisbrough as they were travelling away from Doncaster on Saturday evening.

The 21 year old driver of a third car has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. Chris Kiddey reports.

Safety campaign urges road users to look out for each other

Children practise road safety on their bikes Credit: PA

A third of primary school children in our region say they've been hit or nearly struck by a vehicle while they were out walking or on a bike, according to the road safety charity Brake. It's launched a new campaign today calling on road users to look out for each other. 165 people were killed and over 2000 were seriously injured on the roads in Yorkshire and the Humber last year.

Young people in Hull encouraged to stand up to bullies

Children in Hull are being encouraged to stand up to bullying. A recent Hull City Council consultation with around 1,500 children and young people found that bullying was a huge issue with 47% of young people stating that they are worried about bullying. The council is now working with the NHS on a programme to highlight how children can get help and support if they are being bullied.

Bullying is wrong and it damages young people's lives. No one should have to contend with being bullied and where it does raise its ugly head, everyone should challenge it. That is why this campaign is so important. Bullying can happen anywhere and has many different forms. It is a frightening experience and can seriously affect a young person’s self esteem and confidence. We must do everything we can do to raise awareness about bullying and to stop people bullying others.

– Cllr Rosie Nicola
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